Color of Love
--Thank You!

KoumiLoccness : I'm glad you enjoyed it! But don't worry, Sora's not a les! It's quite hard for me to imagine her like that... and very weird...

theladyknight : AH! You're like, one of my favorite ffwriters, and you're reviewing my fic! gush

Aino Yuy : Hello! I'm happy you liked it. I wrote a lot of Digimon fanfics that I never got around to uploading because, well, the plots felt plausible and I didn't feel like the story was going in the right direction. But I did get a lot of practice! I'll do my best to finish this one.

Chapter Two

In Physics I stared at the back of Sora's head, trying to figure out why Takeru cared for her. Unfortunately, as it was the back of her head, I could only decipher her hair. I didn't mind because I hated Physics with a passion. I'd do anything and everything to distract me from the boring and difficult subject.

Sora had auburn hair; a rich color too deep to be brown and too dark to be red. Did that make sense? In any case, yes, she had a unique hair color. Her hair fell to her shoulders and curled up. I liked that. It wasn't short enough to remind me of Jun Motomiya, or long enough to look like Mimi's.

I didn't want anything to remind me of Mimi. She was the first and only girl so far I had feelings for. I won't say I loved her because I rarely speak the overused word. Mimi was sweet and uncomplicated. She was sincere in all she did or said; a trait that I found to be rare among girls. However, she changed after she joined cheerleading and our relationship. Perhaps it was from the sudden fame she was getting as "Yamato Ishida's girlfriend." The other cheerleaders also poisoned her brain, slowly dissolving her quick intelligence into gray Jell-O. Yuck-O.

Mimi was my last girlfriend and our breakup was painful. After she dyed her hair pink and was accepted into the cheerleader crowd, she transformed. Mimi complained about her split ends and her toes and belly button. I hate it when people do that. I know I can have anyone I want but as stupid as this sounds, I want someone special. Someone like how Mimi used to be.

I winced, remembering Takeru's words. He basically said the same thing yesterday; about how the Teenage Wolves had changed. Well, inhuman monsters can equal to gray Jell-O. I shuddered. I promised myself never to be like Mimi and here I was...

With a sigh, I went back to inspecting Sora. I moved my gaze down. Her green and white school uniform was spotless. I grinned sheepishly, looking at my own ink blotched uniform. I hadn't had any clean changes. That's what you get for not doing laundry and leaving all the household duties to your dad. I didn't mind, though. Girls went for the "messy rogue" look.

I couldn't see anything else past the chair she was sitting on. However, her arm was moving... what was Sora doing? It looked like she was writing something down. Was she writing me a love note? I leaned over, trying to see the characters she was spelling out. With my superhuman vision I could read:

Wave: A disturbance that travels through a medium, transporting energy from one location to another.

What! That was a very sucky love letter! Unless it was addressed to Koushiro... I'm sure he'd love to--

"Mr. Ishida!" A clear voice rang throughout the room. I automatically jumped up, finding myself face to face with Makino-sensei. His glasses caught the light, flashing in my eyes. "Are you penning down your notes?"

Oh. Sora wasn't writing a love letter at all. She was copying down the notes on the blackboard, which I had noticed for the first time that class.

"Err, sorry sir," I said weakly and made a great show of shuffling my pages and clicking my pen. On a pristine sheet of paper I wrote down the words I saw on Sora's notebook. After a moment of scribbling I dared to look up again. Instead of seeing a mass of hair, I saw a neck. My eyes crawled up... chin... cheeks... nose...

It was her face. I blinked. Sora rarely turned to look at me. I glanced around to see what the commotion was about. Ah, Makino-sensei was still watching me. I looked at him stupidly, giving him a look that clearly said, "what?"

Makino-sensei sighed, scratching his head in exasperation. "Yes, that's what we wrote five minutes ago. That's it. Hand me your notes at the end of class. I'll be grading it as a quiz."

What! I silently fumed as Makino-sensei walked up to the front and erased the board. How could he! That bastard!

Sora turned in her seat to hand me her notebook. She looked at me with compassion in her eyes. I was struck. I took her notes automatically, getting over my initial shock. "Thanks," I whispered. A quick smile brightened her lips as she turned away again. The moment of intimacy between us lasted only a second, but the warmth I saw in her was memorable.

I was beginning to understand why Takeru was so protective of her.

I aced the "quiz" with Sora's help. I hadn't even asked her for the notes. I was more than grateful to the bright eyed girl.

"Thanks a lot," I said to Sora as we filed out of class when the bell rung. I usually don't have much time to myself. The fangirls in my class chased after me as like a pack of wild, hungry dogs. However, that day Makino-sensei was handing out our last test grades and they were forced to wait until they got their score. It was the perfect opportunity for me to get to know Sora. I began the conversation, "Hey, you're Sora, right?"

She nodded as she slung her bookbag over her shoulder.

"Don't talk much?"

Sora grinned shyly and shook her head.

"Mind if I walk you to your next class?"

She shrugged nonchalantly and pointed to the schedule sheet that was stuffed in to the clear folder attached to the front of her binder. It said Math: room 405.

"Really? I have Japanese in the room next to you; 407."

I really wanted to walk her, and perhaps get her to open up to me, but the sound of stampeding feet told me there was going to be danger.

"Uh oh," I breathed, and Sora looked at me pityingly. She knew what was going to happen. Everyone knew what was going to happen. It occurred every day but the slow roar I heard was somewhat louder than usual. Looking back, a mass of pigtails and long hair, limbs and uniforms, was avalanching right towards us. I groaned. I was just too sexy for my own good.

Sora looked at me piercingly as if she heard my thoughts.

"I don't want to go through this," I explained, quickening my pace just a little bit. She raised an eyebrow, caught my hand in a surprisingly firm grip, and we flew. At first, Sora was dragging me along. I hadn't expected her to run with me so my feet were a little slow. Finally I got the wind of things and we ran. We should've been put on the soccer team. I laughed heartily when the screams of outrage swelled behind us, grabbing my bookbag as to not let it slip. We jumped down the stairs to the fourth floor. I caught a glimpse of Sora next to me. She was laughing herself, soundlessly, her eyes sparkling and shoulder-length hair being tossed back.

Finally we reached 405. Breathlessly, we clung to the cold wall and hugged our stomachs.

"Thanks," I gasped, wiping away the beads of sweat clinging to my forehead. "You... saved me... twice..."

She was gasping as well, desperate for air. Despite her need, she managed to smile at me weakly. Sora leaned over, brilliant bangs falling forward to cover her eyes, and she reached up. I blinked, afraid she was going to kiss me. She wouldn't be the first one to try. I jerked my head back and squeezed my eyes shut.

A gentle touch made me look up. Sora wasn't trying to kiss me; she was just brushing the hair out of my eyes. She smirked at my recoiling and raised her hand in mock salute. Flabbergasted by the unforeseen turn of events, I could do nothing but watch as she disappeared into math class.

oaoaoaoa

I was itching for lunch.

Reason One: The girl next to me, Ayumi, was stripping me with her eyes. Would you like to be in that kind of situation?

Reason Two: I was hungry. I prepared california rolls again. There was nothing else I could make with the limited ingredients at home. Really, you think a parent would treat a rising star well...

Reason Three: Sora was a mysterious character. I felt like a detective, chasing down clues to unlock the mystery, and lunch was my time to interrogate "the mystery." It brought flavor to my otherwise mundane life. Yes, I said mundane. Being chased by girls only happens about thrice every day.

Reason Four: I was looking forward to going back to the old table, though the thought of Taichi made me flinch. I wondered if he was still upset at me.

Reason Five: We were reading "The Tale of Genji." The most boring book to have ever been written. It was steaming with sexual situations. After the third one around it gets pretty redundant.

I gave Ayumi a scorching glare. She grinned in what was her idea of seductiveness. I shuddered, unwilling to know what in the world was going on in the sick girl's mind, retreating once again to the innermost place of my mind. Bit by bit, little by little, my eyes blanked out.

It happened. I heard strumming in my head. Down, down up; A... and maybe... E... keep going- F major? No, what about F minor- no, too strange. It didn't sound right. What if I moved the capo to the first fret-

Quickly my mind jumped back to reality. I scribbled down the sudden idea, uncaring where my pen landed, and found that I had written all over "Topic: Is The 'Tale of Genji' A Romantic Eroticism Or A Depiction Of The Meaning Of Life?"

I didn't care.

I hadn't heard from my musical muse in a long time, and it had finally sown the beginnings of another song, right in the middle of Japanese class. Of course, it wasn't much. My guitar, which I had lovingly named Cookie, was safe at home. I had no way to test out the idea.

There was a piano in the band room. I had band after lunch.

But... I didn't play piano. I was learning the drums in band. I groaned, hitting my head against the table with a dull thud, wishing I had listened to Mom when I was younger and practiced the instrument.

Finally, lunch came. I had entirely given up on Japanese, letting my attention wander to more important things, namely moving my fingers soundlessly to imaginary chords and listening to the unheard music. When the bell rang I sprinted out, eager to imput substance into my stomach and avoid the lingering members of the Ishida fan club.

I jumped down to lunch, and a strange relief washing over me at the sight of Taichi's bushy hair (always stands out in a crowd). Koushiro, Jyou, even Takeru and Hikari were there. Taking a deep breath I began walking into the cafeteria.

"Hey, Yamato!" Akira called over from his usual table. He waved me over. I waved back but made a beeline for Taichi's table. I felt the drummer's astonished eyes drilling into my back.

"Hi guys," I said when I walked up to them. They looked at me with doubt in their eyes. I wondered if me coming here was a bad idea. I glanced at Takeru, whose face was bright with beaming. His smile melted away my misgivings. I might as well do it for my brother. "Room for one more?"

"For you," Jyou said. His doubt was replaced by the kindness he had always shown me before. He moved over, patting the seat next to him.

I silently sat, taking out my lunch. Koushiro had nodded his acceptance of my presence, but Taichi was still watching me warily. He hadn't forgotten the fight.

I never told you why we fought. Well, it was stupid. Taichi said soccer was the most important thing in the world and I pointed out that if it were true, he wouldn't care if his family and friends disappeared and he made a comment about my hair and Cookie (the guitar) and I said something about his hair and it turned into a screaming spree.

I already admitted it was stupid. Be quiet.

I took out the rolls and my chopsticks, aware Taichi was still looking at me. Finally he broke the tense silence with, "I'll trade you half my tuna sandwich for six of your twelve rolls."

He surprised me. When I looked up at Taichi, there was hope in his expression. Hope for our friendship? I hoped so. I replied, "Deal."

After our business transaction, it was almost as if everything was back to normal. The uncertainty in Taichi dissipated when he yelped in delight and attacked the food I had given him. He was as bad as Akira.

"Taichi, didn't we teach you any manners?" Hikari grumbled, wrinkling her nose.

"No," Taichi momentarily stopped in his eating crusade to answer. "'Oo twied buh I nebah learmed."

"What?" Jyou asked. He and I shared identical stunned looks.

"I said," Taichi swallowed. Koushiro's eyes widened when a huge lump moved down Taichi's throat. That must be his food. "You tried but I never learned."

"Taichi," Koushiro began weakly, "How come you're not choking?"

He grinned toothily, bits and pieces of rice and seaweed in his teeth. "I have a big esophagus."

Sora chose that moment to enter. She smiled in greeting at us all as she sat next to Koushiro, though she looked at me questionably.

"Hi, I'm visiting," I clarified my reason for being there.

"No, he's here to stay," Taichi amended without my permission. "We traded food. That's the ultimate confirmation of our brotherhood."

Sora raised an eyebrow.

"I never knew that!" I gaped at him.

"You do now! It's too late to protest. You should've thought of that before you agreed to trade."

Koushiro butted before we could break out into another argument. "Sora, did you get the books?"

She nodded with a pleased look at the armload of books she was carrying. She slammed the stack down on the table, which shuddered under the sudden weight. Since she was sitting across from me, I had to read the title upside-down.

"'Do You Love Your Walrus?'" I looked at Sora in bewilderment. "'Odobenus My Rosmarus?"

Koushiro grinned apologetically. "It's our project for Advanced Biology. We have to research an animal."

"And you chose... walruses?"

"Of course! Walruses are very interesting creatures. Did you know that," Koushiro shifted into lecture mode, his eyes glazing over as he explained how wonderful walruses were, "that their tusks are used to signify social status? And also--" he went on and on. Sora took my chopsticks and poked them to her lips, rolling her eyes back. Jyou and I snorted. Taichi giggled when Sora imitated a barking walrus. "They use their tusks to hook over ice to stabilize when sleeping!"

At which point we all bursted out in laughter. Sora mimed attacking Koushiro with the chopsticks, opening her mouth with a string of mock drool stretching out, and pretending to snore.

"It's true!" Poor Koushiro had no idea what we were whooping about. "Walruses are interesting!"

You had to have been there. She looked exactly like a auburn haired, slim walrus with undersized tusks. Sora put down the chopsticks and flashed the redhead an innocent look when he turned to her in desperation. "Sora, don't you agree?"

She nodded, completely serious. The contrast between her imitation of a walrus and her present austere expression egged us on even further. Tears welled up in my eyes. Taichi began beating Jyou's back, clutching his stomach. Sora cocked her head with feigned puzzlement. Koushiro was about to tear his hair out. "What's so funny?"

"Walruses!" Takeru choked out, guffawing. Koushiro hmphed, crossing his arms. 'They've gone crazy,' I heard him mutter to Sora.

We slowly calmed. I took a bite of the tuna sandwich, which I expected to taste like a bag of dirt. To my pleasure, it tasted like tuna! I looked at Taichi in astoundment. He chuckled and explained, "Hikari made it."

"Ah," I nodded in understanding. That made sense. For whatever reason Taichi's dad married Mrs Kamiya, it wasn't due to her cooking. It was a mystery how Hikari recieved her decent cooking skills.

Lunch passed by quicker than when I was at the popular table. The fangirls dared approach me again, but Taichi chased them off by urging Koushiro to retell the walrus facts. This time, Sora didn't do her impressions and humbly ate her food.

"Adult walruses intake 4.2 to 6.2 of their total body weight. They eat less on their northward migration," Koushiro recited somewhat moodily, "And adults eat as many as three thousand to six thousand clams at one feeding. They don't chew their food but sometimes crush clam shells."

The underappreciated prodigy sighed when the fangirls were driven away and said glumly, "No one appreciates walruses."

Sora patted his arm sympathetically, a guilty tinge to her eyes. I could tell she regretted making fun of their Advanced Biology topic. Not even she knew how important sea creatures were to Koushiro.

"Aw, cheer up!" Taichi said in an attempt to help his friend, "Hey, I have an idea. Why don't we go to an aquarium? It can be like... an educational hang out! Is there even such a thing? Have I just said something revolutionary?"

Koushiro brightened. "Yes! An aquarium! We may gain firsthand experience of the lives of sea creatures!"

"Uh, don't go that far--"

"What about on Saturday?" Hikari suggested, slicing whatever cutting remark Taichi had in mind.

"Yeah, I'm good with Saturday," we murmured our assents. Taichi turned to Sora. "Saturday's good for you?"

She smiled pleasantly and nodded, a twinkle in her eyes.

I wished Sora could talk. Her uncanny walrus act was childish, I suppose, but it proved how playful the seemingly quiet girl was. The question that pestered me all day plagued me again: why can't she?

As we went to our next class, I remembered the same strumming from Japanese class. My muse was whispering again. Twice a day? I wondered what awakened my inspiration from its long hibernation.

Maybe it was Sora. I glanced at the redhead walking next to me, her bright expression saying all the words that needed to be said. We were together before class, when it first spoke to me... and lunch...

Maybe...?

oaoaoaoa

Author's Notes:

--"The Tale of Genji" is a book by Murasaki Shikibu. All credits to her. No idea if it's boring or not; never read it. I just know it's very... um. y'know...

--Walrus facts (poor Koushiro!) from the story is progressing slowly. I'm kind of deliberately doing this to show my depiction of love; that true love is based on more than looks.

--Next chapter will be up sometime next week!